When it comes to travel photography, I’m not afraid to admit, I’m a complete amateur. I’ve never taken a class, never watched a tutorial. I pretty much just go with the point, shoot and see what I end up with method. You know, happenstance travel pictures.
Luckily for this novice photographer, a lot of the places I’ve been this past year have made it pretty easy on me. They were all just too darn photogenic to capture anything less than exceptional shots. Well, in my opinion anyway.
What follows in this post may not be the most artistic, nicely framed or even best quality photos, but they mean something special to me. Each and every of these 15 photos vividly brings me back to one my favorite moments of 2015. And man, there were a lot of GREAT moments!
Where: Somewhere over Germany
No matter how many times I fly, I’ll always be that silly girl snapping pictures out of her plane window. I swear I’ll never get enough of it. I just love it. I’ve taken A LOT, but this is definitely among my favorites. Such an amgelic wintery wonderland waiting for me to land and explore.
Where: Madrid, Spain- Malasaña
This picture brings me right back to my perfect little cozy apartment in the center of Madrid. I still can’t believe that I was fortunate enough to have lived for two years and that this is the view I woke up to everyday! I have so, so many amazing memories in this apartment and in this neighborhood. Malasaña, te echo de menos.
Where: Floating over the Swiss Alps
Okay, so maybe I can’t take credit for taking this photo, but I’m in it, so it counts. Right? I still can’t even get over the fact that I did this. And survived. And actually enjoyed it!
See more of my skydiving pictures here.
Where: Madrid Spain- Puerta del Sol
This picture embodies one of my favorite quotes- ‘De Madrid al cielo’ or ‘from Madrid to heaven.’ This little local proverb is one that madrileños use to express their undying love for their city. Madrid is known for having a remarkably beautiful sky, bright untouched blue hues during the day and dramatic swirling cotton candy colors during sunrise and sunset. This is only one of the exquisite skies I had the pleasure of gawking at in Madrid.
Where: Sahara Desert, Morocco
Of all my amazing pictures of the Sahara desert, this one has to be my favorite. In the desert, you can easily point and shoot with your eyes shut and turn up with something like this. It wasn’t easy to choose from the bunch, but this picture was so serene. The ripples in the sand and faint foot prints left behind the Berber man, the scene is incredibly peaceful. It reminds be of how beautifully simple life can be.
Where: Madrid, Spain- Templo de Tebod
While I was living in Madrid, watching the sunset at Madrid’s Templo de Tebod was one of my favorite things to do! I liked to hang around until after the sunset, when the inevitable crowd began to clear out and wait for the real spectacle. Just before the sun fully disappeared for the night, you would see this. Breathtaking.
Where: Florence- Top of the Palazzo Vecchio
One sluggish hungover Sunday morning in Florence, my friend Kristen and I decided we’d climb the clock tower. We had heard that climbing the Duomo was a great experience, we had issue in the fact that we wouldn’t be able to see the Duomo from the Duomo, you know? Well, it was a trek and it was rough, but at the end we were rewarded with this view. The regal Duomo against the hazy mountainous backdrop snapped me right back to life!
This little terrace was on the roof of my family’s private AirBnb in Istanbul. It was by far one of the best views of the city we could find and it was all ours. I sat up here many times gazing down at the city panorama and listening to the alluring chants of Islamic prayers coming from the mosques below.
Where: Rome- The Colosseum
This may be just another classic Roman Colosseum shot, but it’s still one of my favorites. We visited the momentous attraction on an unbearably hot and humid day, with crowds out the wazoo. Still, seeing this massive historical stone amphitheater up close and personal, framed against a bright blue backdrop- pretty surreal.
Where: Oia, Santorini
Santorini is the most picture perfect place I’ve ever seen. Taking a stroll through Oia’s winding streets is overwhelming. Every which way you look is another scene fit for a postcard. This picture is currently my desktop background and constantly reminds me that I’ll be back to this lovely island one day, sooner rather than later.
More photos of Santorini here.
Where: Portland, Oregon- Cartopia
I ate my heart out in Portland and this photo reminds me of just that. Portland’s street food scene is putting the foodie city on the map and mobile dining is all the rage.
Read about my Portland food cart experience here.
Where: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton is one of my parents’ favorite National Parks and even though I was sick at the beginning of our road trip, we tried to experience the park as best as we could. We walked along Colter Bay at dusk and loved it so much that we went back the next day. It was so quiet and peaceful out on the bay. I lay out on this dock for a little while with my dog and just watched the clouds blow by.
Where: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I basically used my mother as a human tripod to catch this one. I’m in love with Bryce Canyon. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to visit many US National Parks yet, but so far this one is my favorite. The natural beauty of the amphitheaters is unreal. It’s so unbelievably unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Where: Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona
Walking through Antelope Canyon with the afternoon sun reflecting on its walls was dreamlike. This Navajo protected canyon is nature’s artwork at its very best. This picture, representing the Rocky Mountain horizon wasn’t even edited. The swirls of the canyon clay really are that vibrant!
More photos from Antelope Canyon here.
Where: Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona
Don’t Judge. I may have captured this baby with a selfie stick, but my dad was too scared to get close. I was pretty terrified sitting in this position and literally couldn’t get my hands to stop shaking, but somehow I captured this shot. Even though this photo isn’t the best quality, I love how my GoPro’s wide angle lens captures the true essence of the enormous horseshoe shaped canyon.
What are some of your favorite travel memories from 2015?